The jobless rate rose to 12.4 in the second quarter from a marginally downwardly revised 12.3 percent in the previous period. However, the new level was still 0.4 percentage points below its mark at the end of last year and equalled its second lowest value since the third quarter of 2013.
In fact, if the monthly report for July is anything to go by, the labour market looks on course to make significant progress this quarter. This showed the jobless rate falling fully 0.5 percentage points to 12.0 percent, its steepest drop since December last year and equalling its lowest reading since February 2013. The decline was wholly attributable to the youth sector where the rate was down (a suspiciously large) 2.6 percentage points at 40.5 percent.
The unemployment rate measures the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labor force. In addition to the quarterly data, a less detailed monthly report is also available.
Unemployment data are published on a quarterly basis and are very old by the time they are released (they are published about 11 weeks after the end of the reference quarter). The data are published both by the number of persons out of work and by the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate is obtained from the ratio between persons seeking employment and the total labor force as measured by the labor force survey (LFS). Italy uses the International Labour Organisation criteria as adopted by Eurostat to compile the data.
Despite the delay in publication of these data, investors can sense the degree of tightness in the job market. If labor markets are tight, investors will be alert to possible inflationary pressures that could exist. If wage inflation threatens, it's a good bet that interest rates will rise; bond and stock prices will fall.
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